A quick glance at the morning paper would suggest that New Yorkers have–as I’m almost positive had been hoped for by Bloomberg and his cronies–soundly rejected the notion of a full-on ban of sugary beverages over sixteen ounces. I submit here, and I’m sure I’m not the first, that this had likely been the desired effect of the overly bold declaration that your sweet sugar water in mass would be removed from shelves. Has it occurred to you that perhaps the first step in getting people to accept a tax on the very same nectar beverages would be to craft a scenario in which we all started to see a soda-tax as a reasonable concession by Bloomberg and the city, in the face of our pained cries against a full-on ban?
Will we be reading about this for months, watching as they make it appear they are listening to the fine soda junkies of this fair city, while they are secretly galvanizing support for at least a small tax to be bestowed upon our vats of liquid glee? I can’t say. But I’ll be the first to say I told you so, when and if this particular bout of Friday morning Level 9 Paranoia proves to be prophetic. I’ve no skin in this particular game, as my own brand of canned/bottled happiness is of the chemical variety. D.C. for-evuh.
“Ahhhh, how sweet,” you might say. “You have adorable neighbors, and there will probably be cake too.” Perhaps, perhaps. But if you are living with level 9 paranoia, like myself, a more accurate reaction to this carefully crafted apartment elevator invitation would be, “Oh sure, let me come up to the roof around four so you can know that I’m no longer in my apartment, and can then signal a friend on the street, letting them know my unit is currently ripe for the cat-burglaring.” Or you might wonder aloud to yourself, as I did, if Pri, Tati, and this Goldy person are actually assembling everyone on the roof for a mass cult suicide jump – there might still be a party, and maybe the roof jump isn’t scheduled for this Saturday, but pulling all the neighbors together with cake and ice cream to discuss their Heaven’s Gate style plan isn’t the worst ploy. A lesser thought, let’s call it level 7, might simply be, “Hmm, what a great way to get a bunch of free toys for this Goldy character.” It could just be they are the neighborly sort, but my money is on poisoned Kool-Aid.
My attempts at being responsibly green are easily shelved every time I take a drinking straw from a dispenser. Theaters, burger joints, sporting events – if theirs are the unwrapped variety it matters not. Germs? Simple germs have nothing to do with my actions. I always press down once, remove and discard the first, and then press it again and use the next straw in line. For most of my life I’ve done this just in case someone took one straw, then laced it with a deadly drug, or even a less-than-deadly drug that only causes immediate pooping or some other form of moderate discomfort, and finally shoved this newly poisoned drinking straw back into the box for some poor soul – some poor soul that isn’t on to that ol’ chestnut.